Funding yo-yo for Trinidad lighthouse preservation

Paul Mann
Mad River Union

TRINIDAD — The Greater Trinidad Chamber of Commerce has agreed to provide $5,000 to aid reinforcement of the Memorial Lighthouse, but the Humboldt Lodging Alliance has rejected a request for $15,000 from the Memorial Lighthouse Preservation Committee.

Chamber Board Member Peter Cohan notified the Civic Club of the decision right after the board voted last week, suggesting a dollar-for-dollar match to encourage others to contribute to the club’s GoFundMe site.

In an email to the Union, Cohan said the board’s allotment of $5,000 derived from the fact that such aid “is directly in alignment with the chamber’s mission, ‘to enhance the economic and social well-being of the people of the Greater Trinidad area by promoting the businesses of the area, its geographical character, its culture, its environment and its heritage.’”

In sharp contrast, Mike Reinman of Redwood Coast Vacation Rentals in McKinleyville, said the Humboldt Lodging Alliance had decided to decline the $15,000 funding request from the Preservation Committee because “it wouldn’t put more heads in beds,” meaning more occupants in vacation rentals.

“I don’t see a real strong connection for us,” he said in a telephone interview, speaking for the Alliance. “We’re more interested in event-driven activities like the [annual] Trinidad-Clam Beach Run or in Chamber of Commerce ads.”

Reinman went on to say, “I very much support what the Civic Club is doing and I hope the city can find the resources to help get that [reinforcement] done.”

The Civic Club and the Preservation Committee received word last week that no assistance will be provided by the City of Trinidad or by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Patti Fleschner, chair of the Preservation Committee, wrote to the Lodging Alliance on June 25, saying Trinidad had spent about $42,000 to date on, among other things, erosion control work on the Edwards Street bluff, removing several parking spaces, a fence, a bench and the concrete walkways badly damaged by winter storms.

The non-profit Civic Club's parcel is directly affected by what takes place on the bluff, she wrote, adding, “For all of Humboldt County, the Lodging Alliance and every tourist-serving business, organization and venue, it is difficult to imagine the area without the Memorial Lighthouse.” She requested $15,000 for assistance in helping to pay for preliminary engineering work to stabilize the site.

The Alliance did not respond to the Fleschner’s letter until contacted last week by the Union.

Club resources will not fully cover the expenses of saving the lighthouse, according to the group’s president, Dana Hope.

The club’s GoFundMe account is posted online at

Further details are listed at

Contributions can be mailed to the Trinidad Civic Club, P.O. Box 295, Trinidad, CA 95570.


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